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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  August 8, 2014 7:00am-9:31am EDT

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discuss the 40th anniversary of nixon's resignation. he co-edited the book "the nixon tapes." join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> i therefore authorize targeted airstrikes if necessary to help forces in iraq as they help to break the chr not -- seige on mount sinjar. american aircraft have been dropping food and water to help desperate civilians survive. cry to the world "there is no one coming to help year ago today, america is coming to help. ♪ host: that was the president last night. his alterations in -- his authorization of airstrikes in
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iraq is our topic. we want your reaction on what the president had to say., (202) 585-3881 for republicans. (202) 585-3880 for democrats, (202) 585-3882. ,ry social media, @cspanwj facebook as well, email, here is "usa today," obama authorizes airstrikes in iraq . a significant escalation of involvement in the growing iraqi crisis. obama attempted to assure the american public it would not lead to u.s. involvement in a ground war there. he added --
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the military made an initial airdrop to thousands of civilians. the aircraft safely exited the region after conducting a low-level flight. saying over the area for 15 minutes. obama said u.s. aid would turn to airstrikes, which would develop the conflict in order to prevent militants from reaching erbil, the capital of the and come to u.s. consulate. the airstrikes depend on whether the area is threatened by the militants.
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reuters.n is with how well-known was the planning on this? was this a surprise? they started yesterday telling reporters that the president was looking at the option of the humanitarian airdrop. but also considering airstrikes. right before his statements last night, it was confirmed that the first of the humanitarian drops had taken place and a bit planes -- and that the planes that had taken part in this had come out of iraqi airspace. he came out and said that those strikes have been authorized. itterms of how well-known was, it started coming out yesterday that it was something they were considering. host: was there a lot of consultation with the iraqi, with prime minister maliki?
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>> it sounds like there was consultation. were saying iraqis yesterday long before the president came out of the airstrikes had begun. but the pentagon made it clear that they had not started. made itident's comments clear that the authorization was for future airstrikes if they were deemed necessary to protect americans. and also to help stem isis from that mountainund where tens of thousands of that religious minority group have hold up. host: either going to be more humanitarian drops today? the nextclear what move is going to be. my understanding is that that is probably not going to be the only humanitarian drop that we saw last night. ofre are tens of thousands
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these people who have been stranded on the mountain because of isis. it seems likely that there will be more. host: jeff may think him one other thing. earnestyesterday, josh seems to have a rough time at his daily news conference. is that a correct assessment? guest: he was just being really careful. he talked about if there was military involvement from the thatand around -- in iraq it would be targeted and limited. but it would solve the problems -- that there would be no intervention. i was apprised that the president talked as much as he did about the authorization for military strikes. josh was super careful about what he wanted to confirm. either before that decision was made or before the president was
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ready to come out and talk to the american people. i think the characterization is right. certainly their reporters were trying to press him to confirm what the u.s. was considering. he was not ready to do that. do you think the president was scheduled to do this announcement later or did that come about rather surprisingly? guest: the way it works for reporters at the white house, we are given a heads up at the end of the day, early or late in the day on whether the president is done. when i say done, i mean not going to make any more remarks, not going to hold any other offense that reporters are allowed to cover. last night, that has that did not come. we cap anticipating that the president was going to make some remarks. so at the time of the briefing that josh made, that was much
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earlier in the day, it was not clear what the president was going to do. i suspect that means that the white house did not know at that point either. host: jeff mason, white house reporter with reuters. thank you for your time. we will put the phone numbers up if you want to participate in our conversation about the president authorizing airstrikes in iraq. 202 for all of them, (202) 585-3881 for republicans. (202) 585-3880 democrats. (202) 585-3882 independents, outside the u.s., (202) 585-5883 . here's little more from the president. >> i know many of you are concerned about limited military action in iraq. part tor this office in end our war in iraq and welcome our troops home. as commander in chief, i will not allow the u.s. to be dragged into fighting another war in iraq. even as we support iraqis as
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they take the fight to these terrorists, american combat troops will not be returning to fight in iraq. because there is no american military solution to the larger crisis in iraq. the only lasting solution is reconciliation among iraqi communities and stronger iraqi security forces. host: jim on our independent line from chicago. hi. caller: where is the american church? they've been silent about christians being persecuted in iraq for years. the second thing, as far as what the president is doing. he knew isis was invaded iraq several months ago and he did not do anything. untilsad that he waited the last minute to help people. giving them water and food and medicine, that is not going to protect those people. they are stranded by isil. isil is something this on created, they
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train them in jordan. host: would you have gone an earlier? caller: oh, hell yeah. host: darrell, missouri. this is what we did when over there and destroyed iraq. we had no business to go over there in 2000 tree. the people who we slaughtered because of george bush and dick cheney. we will have the same thing happen in libya. we have the nerve to talk about ukraine after we have slaughtered so many people based on lies? host: what a think about what the president announced last night? host: we ought to rebuild the country in iraq. i don't think dropping food is
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going to do anything. on liesover there based and slaughtered those people. i don't understand how the cheney and george bush are not in prison. host: from "the wall street ," any decision to reinforce the iraqis or kurds will be painful.
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dave, independent, rome georgia. you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you for allowing me to speak. is the modern-day babylon. there is nothing the u.s. can do to help these people. sometimes, a group of people must determine their own destiny. not the only way for a revolution to happen. these people are not fighting for themselves. the black people in america are suffering. nothingt obama has did to help the community. people are atose war, urban warfare is going on. he does nothing to help them. unemployment rates for african-american is twice the white population. the white people would not accept this. what we must do is stay out of these overseas occupations of
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whatever and allow these people to determine their own destination. we have no finances to pay for this. the tax money that black people are paying should go to the black community first. this should not be used overseas. in rome,t was days georgia. the front page of "the new york times." up at the top, here is a map. here is baghdad, the orange, rust colored areas are where the islamic state, where they have the power right now. offer -- all through iraq. the focus of a lot of the activity now. bonnie, idaho, republican line. caller: good morning. i just wanted to comment on the
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kurdish people that live in the northern part of iraq. our son served up there. he said the kurdish people are just like us. they are christians, they are modern. they really were helping our soldiers up there. brother-in-law was an .ir force pilot he had been flying over that area. the 1990's when they were gassing the kurdish people, it was horrible. i also wanted to know, are our military or naval ships still out close to syria where president obama put them? intod been wanting to go syria at that time. thank you. idaho.onnie in
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this is darrin in hyde park, massachusetts. democrat. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a comment. wasnted to talk about what going on in israel with the cease-fire. first of all -- host: we are talking about iraq and the president's announcement last night. do you want to comment on that? caller: yes, can i make my comment. iraq also, what was started there, what happened with george bush. do not cut me off, please. did you cut me off? host: we are listening, please go ahead. you know what, we're going to have to move on. cindy says "have we heard from john mccain yet?" via twitter. here's a tweet john mccain sent "u.s. must do everything we can to support our kurdish allies."
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charlie, you are on the "washington journal." caller: i think it is necessary for the relief of the suffering people who are trying to get away from the warfare against them, the genocide. , i think wescale should be paying more attention to the leadership of spirituality in the world. not so much the religious leaders. there is an interfaith dialogue going on among leaders. there's never any publicity given to it on tv or radio. the people who are fighting wars do not understand where religion is supposed to be leading them. i would like to see that there is more emphasis on the media on that so people could be coming together rather than doing what is happening. host: front page of "the wall street journal," obama authorizes air strikes. more of the president from last night. >> even as we carry out these
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two missions, we will pursue a broader strategy that empowers iraqis to confront this crisis. iraqi leaders need to come together, forging new government that represents the interests of all iraqis. they can fight back against threats like isil. iraqis have named a new president, a new speaker of parliament and are seeking consensus on a new prime minister. this is progress that needs to continue to reverse momentum of the terrorists who play on iraq's decisions. host: "the new york times" lead editorial, preventing slaughter uin iraq. justifiablye skeptical about what military involvement chemical much anywhere. in the middle east, it is so, located that even seemingly benign decisions can have unintended consulates is.
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"the new york times" this morning. lorenz, a republican in illinois, what do you think? as far as theer: airstrikes are concerned and the isanitarian aid, i guess he doing what he thinks he needs to do. a couple big errors, big mistakes. he did it with the soviet union and couldn't and he is doing it again now. i do not know why. you never tell your enemy what you are not going to do. ,ven though, in his own mind
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which is fine, he is the president. troopsever going to send in, fine. that is something he should keep within his military advisers and what have you. if you tell your enemies this is what i am not going to do. it serves no purpose. i do not understand what purpose it serves for him to keep saying that. except, i guess, to satisfy his own political base, which is pretty much what he does most of the time. everything he dies is for the polls and votes. it makes no sense to let your adversary no exactly what you are not going to do. host: from "the hill," lamar tennessee beats back tea party challenger. lamar alexander got 49.7% of the vote, 330,000 votes in the
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primary. if you add up all the figures, more than half of the republican primary voters voted against senator alexander but he did win. jesse in michigan, democrat. caller: can you hear me? host: we're listening. caller: cool ok. i do not get this. why do we always got to be the policeman of the world? yes, good morning, peter. jesse, turn down the tv and listen through the telephone iq and i are having a conversation. make your comment. we heard the policeman of the world comment. caller: hold on for a minute. hold, doill put you on not hang up. somebody will come on the line and talk to you.
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daniel, new jersey, independent. what do you think about the president authorizing targeted airstrikes in iraq. caller: first of all, i would like to say that i am all for targeted airstrikes. roneave the highest d capabilities in the world. does not make sense not to use it or to use it all the time in pakistan when people are suffering. think if saddam hussein was still in power, do be able tosis would make all these strides? probably not. i was listening to his speech he made last night about authorizing these strikes. i am quoting, he says there are reports of mass murders and atrocities going on in iraq. i am 22 years old. on my facebook feed, i get ggested posts and videos of
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slaughters going on film by the isis people. it is ridiculous. videos of20 minute these guys and obama says there are reports going on? goinghoping this guy was to bring change. this is ridiculous. jesse, michigan, democrat. we are listening. make your comment about the president's announcement. caller: thank you, peter. i do not agree with this at all. we spend all this money on all these wars. know, it's not very smart. , i couldor this guy see where he was going.
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we have been over in iraq for .ight years he is lying about he is not going to put troops over there. i don't trust him on anything. disgusted with this thank you. john from alexandria, virginia on our republican line. you are on the "washington journal." caller: thank you for taking my call. iam a two time iraq veteran, am still a marine. i have some pretty strong feelings about what is going on in northern iraq right now. i think the president's comments were pretty weak. i think what we are facing with isil forces up there, this is an unsustainable process that is taking place right now. in dropping humanitarian supplies and targeted airstrikes
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is not going to solve anything. it is going to sustain violence. we have ground forces, we have marines in the gulf that could probably be on the ground and under 72 hours, maybe 48 hours. host: would you advocate that? caller: i would. i fought in iraq, i am not a warmonger by any means, i understand the horrors that go along with such things. these people need to be stopped and they are not going to stop. we cannot just drop some mre's and water on miserable people in and close our eyes. unfortunately there are people in this world that need to be this is them. they are enslaving yazidi women?
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this is barbaric. this is 2014, are we going to do something or not? host: harry, pennsylvania, democrat. is, themy comment president is sending all this money over to iraq. plus peoplemillion on long-term unemployment who lost their benefits, including myself. what i don't understand, the president gets on tv and says that we are broke, we have no money -- when it comes to humanitarian efforts for people overseas and the border crisis, he is right to send millions of dollars to everybody. what has he done for the people on long-term unemployment? nothing. he lets boehner get away with everything. i am really surprised why there half not been more unemployed people coming in. i am losing my home. what is the president doing about us in america? if bush would have left saddam hussein alone, he had nothing to do with 9/11, this stuff would not be going on in iraq.
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the president should be doing more for the americans who are losing their homes and their families. thank you for your time. front-page "washington times," hidden in defense bill is $20 billion for pet projects. tes dozens of pet projects that have tenuous connections to national security. they have some other examples as well in "the washington times." richard in yuma, arizona,
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independent line. what you think about what the president said about targeted airstrikes in iraq? whatr: i will expound on other people said. we are spending all that money over there aiin iraq. which we never should have invaded. it is messed up. he is not doing stuff here in america. we are funding all those people over there in america. yeah, it is ok, we are going to help the kurdish kurdistan, what about here in america? host: this is jessica in missouri, republican line. caller: first i wanted to make a note. maybe if they hear it from a fellow caller, turn the tv down or deposit before you make your comment. there's not a lot of time for everyone to get their comments in on the show.
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hopefully we can get that straightened out. i did want to mention, on the last note about the budget for the military, there was an article in "the washington post" some time ago. software used at the pentagon -- host: so you can get your comment in about iraq? caller: it plays into that. the software is designed to where their inventory and ordering system makes it to where there cannot be budgetarily responsible. we keep getting into these intractable situations. the airstrikes are not going to be effective. if we are going to do something, we have to full on dedicate ourselves to one project and do it well or we need to leave it alone. host: some tweets.
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bill, "i hope this is not another case of here we go again." "it would bed says irresponsible for the u.s. and other countries not to help." carroll, "obama has known about this problem for months." , "surprise,n surprise, mr. obama is no different than mr. bush." "is thisanther, because they're is christians on top of the mountain?" ronnie, "we give one side and one side guns." "more radicalization of the region." "if republicans take the white house in 2016, they will send
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troops to the middle east within six months." from tarzana, california, robert on the independent line. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i am glad he is finally doing something. i hope the airstrikes are vigorous. i am just waiting. i think he has been very ineffective. finally, he is going to help these poor people over there. thank you, sir. "the washington post," one in five workers near retirement has no money saved. that's sobering statistic was one of many released by the federal reserve on thursday as part of its report on the economic well-being of u.s. households. they surveyed 41 hundred people. overall, 31% of people said they have zero money saved for retirement, that included 19% of people between the ages of 55
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and 64. those closest to retirement age. wie, maryland, right here in the suburbs. democrat, what do you think about what the president had to say? i agree with the president in the humanitarian effort with these people on this mountain in iraq. with the food and limited airstrikes. the american public needs to remember to keep blaming the president for not extending , all theent benefits president can do is propose. congress is the one that writes loss for the bills. it is not the president's fault. he is always asking for humanitarian assistance for the americans. he is not getting from the republicans. thatca needs to know also
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the immigrants from syria who have fled to different countries because of what is going on over they do not approve of helping these children from the central american countries. it is hypocritical. people do not know how the government runs. they need to find out how the government runs before they call in. i don't care who the president is. if you know how government runs, you will have nothing to say and be more supportive. e, maryland. homeland security released some statistics on border crossings. 10,628 apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the southwest border in june. that dropped by half to 5500 in july. 16,000 adults with children were apprehended at the border in
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june. in july.ped to 7410 colorado, independent line. what you think about the announcement authorizing targeted airstrikes? caller: i agree with the measures he took. i thought he stated it very well. he tried to address the complications of the matter at hand. he tried to give us some context by talking about the history of the situation and how the american public is not going to be interventionist. it is too bad that the area, the regional powers are not more active, more actively engaged in defending territories that directly affect them. the iraqi situation is deplorable and demoralizing, the way that apparently their military is so unwilling to do the necessary things themselves will stop when we are used to
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ing ourselves as the worlds policeman, we have filled the vacuum of power in various places to do that. we are losing our capacity to do that. iraq was such a failure. afghanistan can be counted as pretty much the same thing. we are losing some of that capacity. oo, we arents , t fighting against our own military armaments in that place. there are these consequences that come with our interventions . sometimes, the guns that we have made our point against us too. as we measure all these things, this is back to what the president said, he was trying to major our engagement in more cash weights versus the way that bush just allowed into iraq and said we are going to build a new
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country. en, colorado. "usa today." go on.h brothers trials and difficult -- charles and david koch are launching a theic relations campaign in face of public denunciations from democrats. averse family has launched a television advertising campaign that promotes koch . jerry, texas, republican line. the president has authorized targeted airstrikes in iraq. caller: one thing missing from all this, dialogue. that we are fighting
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against, that is good and necessary. sit down at just the table and say ok, these are the options. what do you want, we can annihilate you. we should be a little bit more prudent and cost effective. sit down and talk with these people, is it that not possible? ont: if you can get through the phone lines, go to and participate in the conversation going on about the potential airstrikes in iraq. from politico, what john boehner is not saying on the road. forget about the care and velocity can the president, this is the tone speaker john boehner is going for the summer as he began his annual four-month long, 14 state bus tour.
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in the opening days of the tour, john boehner only talked once about the health-care law, saying programs needed tweaks, not a massive overhaul. there was no explicit mention of suing obama, just a brief nod to try to stop the president's overreach. writes that is a contrast to what is happening in washington. leading republicans are trying to shed the party's combative images. highlighting priorities that might garner broader support. from politico. from mount pleasant, south carolina, democrats line. go ahead. marion?
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sorry, we have got to move on to richard in indiana, pennsylvania. independent line. caller: how are you doing? we left billions of dollars worth of equipment behind their. handle what is going on with ,eople on the mountain airstrikes, whatever, marching towards them -- that is fine. unfortunately, all the money that we wasted in a disastrous , we are going to have to take down our own weapons system that we left behind. if you are going to do airstrikes, do all-out airstrikes and take out all the weapons that we look time. obviously, that is what they are using to terrorize the whole country. i think it is just so obvious. if you are going to do it, do it right.
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you do not necessarily have to have boots on the ground to make a point. it is unfortunately going to cost billions of dollars more. and as suffering americans, we are sick and tired of the half measures like the one lady said, half measures amount to nothing. if you are going to do it, do it right, thank you. the: james on twitter says president needs to get the signature of every congressman prior to dropping a single bomb, congress has and i don't know problem. the military-industrial complex plots this action. ethel in texas, what do you think? i think the president has done the right thing, for a change. of isis not take care over there, within 10 to 15
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years come we are going to have a nuclear bomb in our front yard. because they hate us. i know we have problems with congress, republicans and democrats, i do know the republicans have 350 bills that the senate will not pass, and i do think they need to do something about immigration. but i think that we need to stay on top of this airstrikes thing. if we do not help them, they will not help us. host: thank you. "the washington post," six governors facing unexpected fights. hawaii governor neil abercrombie faces voters in a democratic primary in which he has outspent his opponent by a 10-1 margin.
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wanda, california, democrat. caller: good morning. host: we are listening. caller: thanks. i have been sitting here listening to every caller. of, trying to get a feel you know, the media that has played a huge part in how people are responding. maryland, this
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young lady really hit the nail when she mentioned the fact that people need to understand that congress holds the purse strings . congress is the ones not doing their job. yes, we can blame president obama and say that he is the one that needs to do everything. colin powell made a statement when we were going into iraq, if you break it, you will own it. the lie that was told was we were only going to be there one week, maybe a month. and it was not going to cost the american taxpayers anything. people forget all that stuff. every single thing that happens in the world, obama is supposed to fix it. if he doesn't, he is supposed to be week. i don't know what to agree with airstrikes, i do not
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know the intelligence that they know. all the people calling me to get a clue, shut up and figured out. withan is doing all he can a congress that needs to be sued themselves. in 2009, they stated that they were not going to do anything. host: that is wanda and california. this is kim in south carolina. independent. caller: please give me a little time like you gave the other woman. i a black man. i will talk about iraq, too. not done obama has nothing from the black community. from the supreme court nominees to the inner city of chicago, camden, new jersey. he wants to send $3.7 billion to
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the border for some kids whose parents paid no taxes? have hearding i about immigration reform. every time i turn on the tv, hispanic leaders talking about -- host: let's move on to iraq. caller: i have seen a documentary on losing iraq on frontline are still stop in 2008, he was warned that maliki was not including any sunnis in his administration. now he went -- why did we see isis, and with all the money we spend on intelligence? we should have seen that coming years ago. iraq, weapons in iran. we've got to do more airstrikes to kill more people. when there was a genocide in africa, we did not do nothing. host: ken, south carolina, this
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is dayton on twitter. "it would be helpful if sunni governments declared opposition to isil." from politico yesterday afternoon, paul ryan book tour includes onstage interview with romney and stops at the reagan and bush 43 libraries. a couple days touring about his new book in florida, the new book is called "the way forward: renewing the american idea." he will date with mitt romney on august 21 at the union league club in chicago. booktv will be covering that event on c-span2 in the near future. news.buook pensk linden -- clinton gillibrand book intro.
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that is coming out on september 9 by random house. from "the hill," the nfl is c to save thec blackout rule. the national football league pushing regulators to keep a role on the books that forces cable, satellite companies to blackout games. in the weeks ahead of thursday's preseason opener, the league has rushed the fcc, even bringing out former steelers star lynn swann. amid intense pressure on the fcc to eliminate its sports blackout cable andh prevents satellite companies from showing a gain if it is blackout on local stations. critics say the rule is bad for fans. critics argue that times have
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changed. the blackout rule allows nfl teams to be immune from the normal pressures of a free market and disproportionately smaller cities. for now, it looks like the reformers may be winning out. last december, the fcc unanimously voted it would move forward with a plan to end the decades-old rule. hagerstown, maryland, democrat line. what did you think of the president announcement on airstrikes in iraq? caller: he's on the right track. he's trying to do the right thing. i'm just calling to reaffirm that america is the greatest nation and the whole wide world. originally, i am from west africa. i can hear about 14 years ago. host: which country? caller: sierra leone, where the
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ebola virus is being detected. i came here 14 years ago as a refugee brought here by the u.s. government. i worked my way up, i am working towards my degree. i am a truck driver, i actually pulled over to make a comment. america is the greatest nation in the world. a lot of people who are americans do not know that. maybe they know that and they try to ignore it. sometimes when you hear it on the radio, do these people really know what they have? when a person says we do not love the police but when something goes wrong, they are the first ones to call the police. people run around saying america is a bad country. when things go south, they need help from america to come to the rescue. i want to make a special reference to edward snowden. know what,
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unfortunately we are not talking about that this morning. we got your iraq comment. thank you for watching and or listening to the "washington journal," we appreciate it. john from vienna, virginia. in the suburbs here, independent line. caller: yes. anelieve the president has issue. maliki will not seek office again. they had a meeting last week in geneva with iranians. -- theanians a sho iranians assured him. not peoples are to negotiate with. they need only force. "the washington post,"
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russia extends snowden's stay for three more years. fugitive nsaanted leaker edward snowden permission to stay in the country for three more years, a measure to further strain u.s. russia relations. he is working, kucharena said. "the washington post." susan from hampton, virginia. republican line. the president announced that he was authorizing targeted airstrikes in iraq, what is your view? caller: i totally agree with that. votedarties of congress
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for the war in iraq. some of them i want to backtrack on that now. but they did. we did a lot of good over there. , it fell apart. it seems that the world is mad at christians. they are prosecuting them and killing them. somebody has got to step up. i agree. -- man from marilyn, you go from maryland, you go. formerom the hill, montana governor rules out run for john walsh's seat. after revelations about walsh's thesis potentially being pulled
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from other sources. danny, ohio. caller: thank you. thepeople on the mountain, food and everything is fantastic. he did good there. what are they going to shelter in? what is keeping the terrorists from taking what we are job? they are supposed to be our enemy. why isn't he air striking them and sending them back where they have come from and taking the border patrol, that leaves us wide open for invasion from these people. think somebody had a question why he will not do anything against the muslim terrorists will stop host: would you put troops in there? caller: i would, it is better than having people beheaded, is biblical times
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allover again. the man in the white house taken all these expensive vacations when we are broke, we cannot figure out why he will not break their back with airstrikes. away for quite a while. he will do nothing against muslim terrorists. i think there should be a question why. "big james tweets in, bombs for big planes." "and what happens when they shoot down a plane?" lena, pennsylvania, democrat. caller: i do agree with our president. he should send some help to the people up in the mountains. he's doing the best he can do. notice of the majority of black people from the south,
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they are talking about obama does not do anything for the black this and that. if they listen to the news, i listen to it all the time, it is not his fault that you're having problems. it is the people in congress, it is your governor. some of these states are doing very well. that is the reason why we are saying this. , weave jobs and insurance undering very well obama. you have to stop blaming obama for what is happening to you. you need to get out and vote. votes the ones in congress who are not doing anything for you. stop blaming obama. host: this is benjamin, independent line. oklahoma. caller: yes, benjamin harrison from baptiste.
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the gentiles, the whole united , your immigration of black folks -- this is something that god has given us, is a that the united states would carry on the gospel of christ. host: tie that into targeted airstrikes in iraq. caller: it sure does. the u.s. is the one that is given from all over the world. givess. is the power that christ's and such. also, in other countries. you, sir, walter in alabama, republican mind. the president authorized targeted airstrikes in iraq. caller: the president is a
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little behind the power curve, as he has been since he has been in his presidency. tolacks the basic leadership run the military operations. come down from its inception in iraq and did not do anything. now that it is too late he wants to try to do something. we have 2900 people at camp liberty that have been sitting waiting for us to do something and nothing is happening. what he needs to concentrate on also is the ukraine, russians have got 20,000 troops bordering ukraine -- what are we doing about that, the president needs on how to take care of these situations. tosimply lacks the ability take care of the country. from "the new york times,"
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china moves to rein in messaging for mobile. chinese authorities impose restrictions on the country's most popular mobile instant messaging services thursday, including rules meant to curb the sharing of authorized political news. that is in "the new york times." with regard to russia, russia announced some sanctions against the west yesterday. this chart in "the washington post," rush up and how you did -- russia retaliated by banning most food imports from the west dealing with europe. total trade with russia in 2013.
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billion, germany. the u.s., $16.75 billion. italy, $14.56 billion. france, $13 billion. :, eight dollars billion. honest-- thomas. caller: i agree with the airstrikes. one thing we have to remember is that the president sends over some of the brightest people, advisers to advise iraq and look at the situation and to get back with him with their recommendations. i believe once he sat down with those people and talked with them that he came up with the , if necessary,in to do airstrikes. a lot of the airstrikes that took place before or done at
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nighttime, where they used the drums and stuff and they seek them out, seek the people out that they are looking for and make them uncomfortable. i agree with what the president is doing. you thewant to show front page of quotes richmond times dispatch," a reluctant, sat first lady. don't know if you have been following former governor of virginia bob mcdonnell's court case. he and his wife, maureen, are in the court for various reasons. they have got a couple of different pieces here on what is going on in that trial. quickly point out, anthony weiner plans to open a restaurant in queens. finally, from "the new york heartbreak as scotland
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is six weeks away from independence. getting a hard sell from rock stars, the olympic champions, and the former captain of the starship enterprise to keep the kingdom united. it remains to be seen as english or welsh celebrities will be able to win the votes of patriotic scots. one campaigner says he doubts that his campaigners will be by some of those who signed the letter.
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two hours left on the "washington journal," we will , formerdoug schoen clinton pollster, about the american political center. americans stand politically these days. after that, coeditor of the new book "the nixon tapes." ofs is the 40th anniversary resident maxim's announcement that he would resign. this is the "washington journal" on c-span. ♪ >> this month, c-span presents debates on what makes america great. issues spotlight
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. new perspective on issues including global warming, fighting infectious disease and food safety and our history tour enjoying sights and sounds from america's historic places. find our schedule one week in advance and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching, call us 202-626-34o 00 or email us at comments like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> while congress is in recess this month, c-span's prime programming continues tonight with the western conservative summit in denver. saturday, robert gates, condoleezza rice, madeleine albright on the situation in ukraine and sunday on "q&a" ronald reagan biographer, edwin morris. >> washington journal
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continues. host: joining us is doug shown, democratic pollster, former pollster to president clinton. we've invited you on the program to talk about the political center and the american political body as it constitutes today. in a general sense, how do we think of ourselves politically when it comes to liberals, conservatives, moderates, where do we break it down? guest: i'll start with a simple breakdown and look for an analysis. dd we're about 40% conservative and 25% liberal depending on the time and the circumstances and another, say, 40% in the middle, moderate. now, that would suggest that we are a center-right country with the predominant sentiment in the center. unfortunately, and this is very
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sad, what is happening in our political system is that the exact opposite appears to be the result, meaning we appear to be a country of now the extremes, the far left and the far right and despite senator alexander's victory and senator roberts' victory this week, the energy in the republican party is on the right, the energy in the democratic party is certainly on the left, so moderates in the center, people like me, are sadly -- i wouldn't call us a dying breed, but we're a shrinking phenomenon, certainly. host: doug shoe, n, when you look at the results, half the people who voted in the republican primaries for both long-term senators voted against them. >> well, that is exactly my point. dr. wolf in kansas had some compartment is own
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and certainly wasn't a experienced politician and think it was joe carr in tennessee. again, similarly, these were not overwhelming ratifications of incumbents and indeed, what we saw on 2010, certainly being a washington insider was a fatal flaw of the republican party, the other thing i should say, peter, is both parties in the polling now get negative ratings and there's a clear desire in the electorate desire qited to best unre the two major parties, something i hope emerges but not sanguine will. host: you're saying we're splitting apart and 40% or so, so-called moderate. where does the 40% go? guest: well, the problem is they tend to go whichever way
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is least objectionable. that is, if the republican party, as it did in 2006 and 2008, gets outside the mainstream or is pursuing policies that are considered to be either unpopular or misguided, those moderates will move to the left and in 2010, and i dare say in 2014, those moderates will probably move to the right. but we see a lot more voting against than voting for, and right now, every institution, and i think this is important in our political system, is unpopular. congressional approval is about 10%, democratic approval, 30%, 35%, republican approval is about 10 points lower than democratic approval. we live in a system where there is broad-based, widespread disdain and i dare say dismissal of established
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political institution and political parties. host: we put the numbers on the screen if you'd like to participate in our conversation with doug shoen about the american political body, particularly the american , ter, so-called moderates that type of issue where you stand on the political spectrum, we'd like to hear that as well. the numbers on the screen -- host: you can always tweet in as well. doug shoen, recently in "the washington times" you had an op-ed that you co-wrote where you write the vast majorities of the people have a strong desire for bipartisanship and compromise and the complete failure of both parties to deliver it is what's hurting congress. recently on book tv ron paul was on and this is a quote from
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his book "liberty defined," so-called moderate politicians who compromise and seek bipartisanship are the most dangerous among the entire crew in washington, compromise is too often synonymous with selling out but it sounds a lot better. >> well, i think that sort of makes my point. i mean, we live in a democracy with a separation of powers. we have a democratic senate, a republican house, and a democratic president. it is axiomatic you have to compromise to achieve results. and every compromise involves people of firm views and strong views like former congressman paul who would be disappointed. but let's take immigration as an issue. i think there's a clear consensus in the american people, we have to do something about border security. i think there's an equally strong consensus that we have to provide a pathway of citizenship -- or to
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citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. but that being said, if you try to get republicans and democrats in a room to agree to that, it is almost impossible, yet the outlines of a solution, to me, seem fairly clear and obvious and i dare say to the american people as well. so congressman paul might call it dangerous, i would call it essential, necessary, and in the broad national interests. host: doug shoen, what role has redistricting played in the splitting of the american political body? >> you know, it's a very good question, peter. most of us who are political professionals, or like to think of ourselves that way, try to avoid talking about process oriented issues and redistricting certainly is a process oriented issue. but if it is as in the vast majority of states controlled
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by the political parties, the parties that control an individual state legislature, it means given the tools that are at our disposal now in terms of computer technology and graphing, we can literally draw districts for state legislature and for congress that predetermine the results based on how the districts are drawn. so ultimately it means there are fewer and fewer competitive districts drawn and that means in a noncompetitive district between democrats and republicans, the only opposition a democrat will have is usually from the left and republicans, as we were talking before, from the right, so that that tends to pull both parties to their extremes because the competition invariably is from the left to right wings of the party, not from the center, making the kinds of politics i believe is essential, more difficult to pursue. host: let's take some calls. jack in shady point, oklahoma,
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calling in on our independent line. jack, how do you define yourself politically and go ahead and make your comment? caller: i'm a moderate republican, but that being said, the biggest problem that i see is mr. shoen brings up a very good point, there are about 40% of americans that are moderate but neither party represents me at all. i think he missed one d there and i think that's disgust, earlier you said dismissal and there's just an utter disdain for the political system as a whole in the legal system, and our judicial system is equally corrupted and in need of change and we need significant change, not violent change but it seems like we're marching towards violent change in this country and we need to be moving towards peaceful change and the reason to get change is we need
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a legitimate third party and people like myself say i believe in my right to own a firearm, i also believe we need to be more socially responsible for our poor and infirmed, and we need to get things done and neither party is getting anything done. they're just -- it's just hilarious. host: jack, let's get a response from doug shoen. caller: i couldn't agree more with jack. the first thing i would do is say i stand absolutely corrected. i should have used the word disgust. jack is right. the second thing jack is right about is i think for a vast majority of american people, majority, %, 65% the two parties as presently constituted do not represent their views. the parties are not as they ed to be, a coalition of
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dispretty world -- disparity views coming together and represent more ideological groupings and i was trying to suggest earlier and jack said it, frankly, if not better than i did, the parties are so rigid, so narrow and so nym attacks ad homi and someone like jack who may be pro gun and responsible, the democrats will attack him for being pro gun and the republicans will say probably he wants to spend more money than we should. the other thing that happens, and again, i think it's part of the discussion, is the civility that i dare say c-span has always encouraged over its 30-plus years, and the civility that i think is so important in politics is largely, largely dissipating, if not been eliminated from our system. so the idea of having debates,
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sometimes even contentious debate or coming to a consensus or conclusion is gone and it makes people more and more upset. and jack had one other point that's worth attention. it is all institutions, not just politics but our legal institutions, our civic institutions that are all coming into question. put another way, we used to be a beacon around the world, not only of freedom and liberty but an example of the way a government should function. i dare say and i ask this rhetorically, it's pretty hard for us to go around the world now and say "be more like us." our system is not working and not working the way it should. host: henry is a democrat in oakridge, tennessee. henry, how do you define yourself politically and go ahead. caller: i'm a moderate democrat and like the gentleman who just dialed the phone a while ago. i believe some of the same way
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he do. the only thing it is, i was sitting here last night watching -- woke up this morning and watched the election here in tennessee. we don't have republicans here in tennessee. the only generation -- i'm 74. the only generation like me have really shut this country down. most whites my age, they're going to vote republican regardless to how they hurt the country. they don't care. i mean, i listen to them. i go to a church, my congregation is caucasian. and it's only about two of us in that that's really vote democrat in that whole congregation. all they're saying is the country is divided. i'm from mississippi, up in 1940's and 1950's and i can see it today. we are so divided. the republicans ain't got nothing to worry about because with regards to how they do this country, america will put them back in there. ain't no need for us arguing
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about it. host: do you see a racial split, doug shoen? >> i would say statistically there is a racial split. henry is right. there's a bud. one of the great promises of barack obama's candidacy as a u.s. senator for the presidency in 2008 is he offered the prospect of racial and political unity. remember, we're not a red america or a white america or a blue america, we're a united states of america. and i think that's what most good, well-thinking americans want. the problem is, as henry suggested, we are polarized. we're not able to get together across ideological, sometimes racial, certainly political lines. there is one other thing, though, and i think it's important to underscore. henry said that he and jack agree on many things. yet there is no real vehicle in america for people from
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oklahoma who are moderate republicans and people from tennessee who are moderate democrats to come together. there's no force to bring them together, no party or no real strong interests. and that is a great tragedy. and i can only say that from where i sit to the extent i'm able to play a small role in encouraging political reconciliation, it probably is as important as anything i could be talking about or trying to accomplish. host: what about the third-party movement? we tried that before and it's never really taken off. i mean, it's taken off but hasn't been 100% successful. guest: sure. i think there is broad support for it now, polls i've seen, over 60% want it. the problem is the two parties, the democrats and republicans, which agree on nothing, agree on keeping third parties off the ballot and out of presidential elections. then there's always the sense that well, a third party will be a spoiler, so that retards
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support for third parties as well. but i would think we would be a healthier democracy with more different parties, more different ideas, more different forces in the system and to not try to open up the system to give more parties, interests, and candidates, a chance to run again would be a mistake given the widespread, i'll use -- yeah, i think it's jack's word, disgust that exists with the two major parties. host: from what you heard from jack and henry so far, do you think that jack ever has voted democratic and do you think henry has ever voted republican even though they both call themselves moderate? >> yeah. i think jack might have voted democratic back when there were moderate democrats in oklahoma, something that hasn't existed for probably 10, 15 years. i'm not sure henry has ever voted republican but he struck
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me as a man of goodwill who is legitimately frustrated by what he sees as the polarization in the country and the fact that he goes to a church that is largely white struck me that this is a good and decent man who is decrying a system that is too polarized. i think if both henry and jack were given an opportunity to express themselves in a biracial or multiracial political coalition of change, i think both would seriously consider it, and if that's the case, it would certainly, in my judgment, be to the good. host: william, omaha, nebraska, independent. william, politics and then your comment. caller: yes, good morning, gentlemen, greetings and salutations. if we want a true center, we need to remember what our forefathers warned us of, that it was jefferson or washington or some others, they warned us
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against political parties. i think if we truly want to get the attention of the politicians, perhaps instead of starting other parties, why not just everybody or a lot of people shift over to independent. and i think that would get the attention of the parties and they'd say wait a minute, what's going on here? maybe we should listen less to the lobbyists and more to the people that vote us in and put us in the power, you know. we've got many, many problems in this country today, you know. it's gotten to the point where it's like sports, you know, we're on different teams and it's our team vs. your team regardless whether you're right or wrong or whether we're right or wrong. host: william, how do you define yourself politically? >> well, -- caller: well, an independent. another thing, i was born in a democratic household and that's what we do, whether it's religion or politics, we tend to follow the ways of our
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family before us and if we truly want to educate ourselves, we need to listen more to unbiased outlets, media outlets like c-span, public television, national public radio, these tend to be sources that aren't quite as biased and give us true information and if we'd just quit watching so much sports and get worked up -- host: william, have you ever voted for a republican? caller: no. but i would if i felt they were satisfying my interests and needs. host: i'm going to have to leave it there. let's get an answer from doug shoen. guest: i guess what i would say is what william is speaking of is actually happening, the number of democratic and republican identifiers are going down, the number of independent identifiers are going up. the problem is, where do the independents go once they disaffiliate? if there are only two choices, you have to do what william does which is to say i'm no longer a democrat, i'm an independent but an independent
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that votes democratic. i have no doubt about william's seriousness of purpose. he seems like a very thoughtful man but statistically to the politicians, william is no different as a democrat leaning independent than he is as a democratic identifier. the reason i say we need alternatives is we need to give william, jack, and henry, an alternative in the center so they can align somewhere other than two parties that -- as we've been discussing all morning, clearly don't meet the interests of the broad mass of the american people. host: ron. westchester field, new hampshire, democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you, c-span, as usual, you guys give an additional voice to the average american, hard-working person like myself. mr. shoen, i'm honored to speak with you this morning. guest: thank you. thank you. caller: i am a democrat and i've got to say, i don't believe today's political
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system is really broken, it's just been abused by both sides, democrats and republicans, with the gerrymandering with the republicans and i think a lot of it comes down to the individual's hearts, what they have in their heart, you know. i think a lot of our problems take the immigration problem, i think that could be cleared up very quickly, and i say that because my view on it is we should invite mexico to become a part of the united states, let them vote on it. and if they vote no, they wish to retain their sovereignty, then ok, we need to retain ours and we close the borders and send everybody back that is illegal. that would solve the problem. host: doug shoen, that was a democrat calling in with that suggestion. guest: i would tell you one of the reasons i think we need compromise is the caller proposed a solution that i
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doubt is going to get much serious currency today. i don't think there's much sentiment in the united states to add mexico as the 51st state, nor to allow the mexicans to have a referendum on that question. at the same time, he also mentioned closing the border, and he also mentioned a couple other ideas about immigration. and what i would take most generally from his message is that we need to consider a wide range of alternatives, some certainly outside the box so that we can make policy in a logical and broad-based way. and right now we don't have a process that does that. we have a process that does the alternative. so the spirit of what the caller is saying, i can accept even if the substance is not necessarily something i think is all that practical. host: eddie is calling on our independent line from marlboro,
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massachusetts. eddie, tell us about your politics and go ahead and make your comment. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i was going to come on and describe myself as a moderate conservative but then you're asking people if you ever voted for this or that, and i think back, i've only -- i'm in my 50's but have been voting about 15 years and don't really remember ever voting for a democrat, but not to say i wouldn't. when i saw mr. shoen was coming on today, i needed to call because i think out of all the analysts and consultants, i think i really do value his opinion more than any other. host: why? caller: because even though i don't agree as a moderate conservative with a lot of his opinions, most of his opinions, after he gives his opinion, i can look and say, jeez, he made a good argument that way and he makes me think. and there's just a lack of -- that's what most of the conversation has already been about, there's a lack of that
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civility. but i did have a question, i'm going to kind of change it up. i wanted to know, because mr. shoen, you were mentioned about no like outlets or vehicles for people that have that middle-the-the road mentality. have you ever heard of -- now i'm going to forget the name of it. oh, no labels. there's a group out there called no labels. guest: absolutely. caller: i remember the first i ever heard about it was on c-span and they had a representative on there. and i thought, you know, what a novel and good and kind-hearted thing. and i also thought at the time that it's never going to work in this country the way the country is now, and you know, that was a couple years ago and i really haven't heard too much about that group. you might actually be a member of it for all i know. host: eddie, let's hear from mr. shoen pfpblgt 89 -- mr.
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shoen. guest: i did play a small role in helping no labels launch and i certainly encourage groups like no labels and other centrist groups from -- i encourage them to do everything they can. and eddie, i also appreciate your comments. it means a great deal to me. i try to be thoughtful and i think groups like no labels certainly try to be thoughtful to come up with solutions like no budget, no pay for members of congress. the problem we have is, as eddie suggested quite rightly, it's very difficult for any centrist group given the political lineup of the country now to gain traction. we don't have people who are in the center, and i'd like to think of myself, and certainly eddie presents himself to be quite credibly and compellingly who try to come up with ideas to make positive change, not to advance a partisan or narrow selfish agenda. so i would only say what we've
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heard this morning so far, peter, is four people, different world views, different approaches who all say we'd like to be able to come together, give us a chance to do that. i think what's missing in the system is any opportunity to take people of goodwill from different view points and bring them together for positive change. host: i'm sure as a pollster you've heard this before, i didn't leave my party, the party left me. guest: sure. and i think for a lot of people, the parties have moved beyond them. but there's no alternative where to go. i mean, you can become an independent, but then what? you can join no labels, but as eddie suggested, they haven't, as of yet. and i think it's disappointing. but they haven't been able to impact fundamentally on the system and we're left with two parties. and if you take ron paul's comment as aluss practicetive -- illustrative on the right of
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what those may believe, the only thing more dangerous than the democratic left would be those in the center who try to promote compromise between disparate interests and think it's very sad, very sad politically but more important, i'm an american before i'm a partisan. i'm trying to achieve results for our country at a time when we're potentially facing two, perhaps three, global conflicts, all of which demand our attention. as an american, i want to see a united response, not a politicized response. and i think that's really what our callers are speaking to. host: from dillsburg, pennsylvania, here's jean, a republican, how do you define yourself politically? caller: conservative. host: ok. caller: good morning, gentlemen, and thank you for c-span. i would just like to ask why we are as americans blaming the people that we vote and send to
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office? and instead, think about the constitution. we're a young country. government -- they never meant the federal government to take over our lives and states should have surity which is being taken away. if the american voter, when they went to the polls, would know the buttons they're pushing, if they'd take as much time finding out who these people are, and they can best do that by starting locally. these people, you can be in contact with, you can walk in their office. there is so much reckless legislation. i have spent the last six years, had the luxury of watching the committee meetings, watching the hearings, watching c-span, reading, getting as much information as i could and going back to learning civics. and what i see is what the american public voted for.
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host: we're running out of time. let's get a response from doug shoen. guest: exactly. we need more people involved at a local level, at a national level, and we need a more informed citizenry. people, when they get disgusted to go back to the word of the half-hour, they tune out. . wherever you end up on the spectrum, if you're thoughtful and involved, it's a big, big step regardless of your world view. host: chris in alabama tweets in there are two teams on the ball field, democrats and republicans. you look at what they represent and choose a team, simple. while text zen tweets in, we have two parties, a center party and a far right party, there is no left party. doug schoen, do you agree with that? guest: well, i would tell you as somebody who considers himself a moderate democrat, i uld take some issue with the
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second comment. i think the democrats have moved less in my opinion, though it's debatable. the republicans have moved further right than the democrats have moved further left, but it is undeniable to me that the broad-based coalition that we used to see the senate and house in the 1960's, 1970's, and part of the 1980's, has gotten smaller and smaller and the other parties have gotten stronger and stronger, both in the electorate and in the leadership and rank-and-file of the house and senate. host: warren in pennsylvania, democrat. define yourself politically for us, and then go ahead and ask your question. caller: i would call myself a liberal democrat. to expand on the last caller, the last comment, you talked, mr. schoen, about the extreme right and the extreme left. but as a liberal democrat, to me the extreme right is
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illustrated in the politics of ted cruz and marcia blackburn and michele bachmann, those types. what, as a pollster, or who can you name that would be the equivalent of that on the left? please, give me a few names. guest: sure. well, let's just suggest -- and i say this without characterizing, but statistically, it certainly is the case that given the ratings that nancy pelosi has garnered, both as speaker and now the minority leader in the house, she is not perceived as a mainstream democrat, whatever your sympathies with her may be. and i would dare say, looking at the democratic party and its emphasis on redistribution over growth, there has been a movement away from where the democratic party has traditionally been.
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now, you may win the argument, and i think i'd probably vote with you, that the republicans are more conservative than the democrats liberal, but the point i've been trying to make this morning is that that's beyond and besides the point. the larger point to me is the fact that we can't come together and build broad-based coalitions. it means that we all lose, whether you're a liberal democrat or a conservative republican. or like me, somebody pretty firmly in the center. host: doug schoen, we appreciate you being on the "washington journal," and hope you'll come back soon. guest: i certainly will, and thank you, peter, for having me. i really enjoyed the half-hour. host: and today, 40 years ago, richard nixon announced that he was resigning from the presidency and that he resigned on august 9, 1974. we're going to spend some time with professor and historian doug brenk lee. he's co-editor of the new book,
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here it is, "the nixon tapes," along with luke nichter. we're going to talk about that and get his recollections, what he found in his study of president nixon of the time politically, and it was on august 9, 1974, that president nixon went into the white house and announced to his staff and supporters his resignation. >> to carry through to the finish, whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. but the interest of the nation must always come before any personal considerations. from the discussions i have had with congressional and other leaders, i have concluded that because of the watergate matter, i might not have the support of the congress that i
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would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office and the way the interest of the nation would require. i have never been a quitter. to leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. but as president, i must put the interest of america first. america needs a full-time president and a full-time congress, particularly at this time, with problems we face at home and abroad. to continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the president and the congress in a period when our entire focus
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should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home. therefore, i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. vice president ford will be sworn in as president at that hour in this office. host: and doug brinkley, that was president nixon the night before his last day in office, making that speech. were a live at that point? guest: i was a little boy living in ohio, and i remember being riveted by it. we were all watching on tv in our house, like the whole country was. we didn't know whether it was a dark day for america, the president having to flee washington, d.c., in disgrace, or was it a great day for america, show our system worked, that even somebody who was president of the united states wasn't above the law. host: was his, when you look
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back at history, was his resignation inevitable? guest: it became inevitable as the tapes show us. you can't be president and do obstruction of justice and abuse power and act with a degree of fluttery and expect not to reap the consequences of that. some people forget, because everybody focuses on nixon's dark side, but that period in the 1960's and 1970's, a lot of people were loose. the kennedys had issues dealing with mafia bosses. you had j. edgar hoover with all sorts of wire tapping and taping, so there's kind of a culture of washington of abuse of power that was being generated, but nixon stepped right into it, and he did his own undoing by taping all the crimes and misdemeanors. scommoip we'll get into the nixon tapes in just a minute, but as you mentioned, pat buchanan has a new book out also on president nixon, and here's his op-ed this morning in "usa today," "liberal elites
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toppled nixon," and it has some of the same themes you have. was nixon blame unless watergate? y no means, he writes -- guest: it was a different climate, a different media climate. nixon never did well with the press. he always wanted to get them, and they always wanted to -- you know, it goes back to the hiss case and the left and the media saw nixon as the enemy, even during the eisenhower years. a lot of democrats said, well, ike is ok, but we can't stand
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vice president nixon. he's the hard-liner. he's the right-winger. and then, of course, john f. kennedy beat nixon very closely by a hair in 1960. everybody thought nixon was finished. he couldn't even win as governor of california. the fact that nixon staged a comeback in 1968, that he was able to go through the tumultuous year of riots in the streets and the depth of martin luther king and bobby kennedy, after that whole tumultuous year of nixon standing on top, it angered the left. they were always looking to get nixon, but he did well his first term. our book documents what did he right in his first term, as well as what he did wrong. but watergate, by 1972, starting to ticktock and it destroyed him. at one point in this book, at the end of 1972, after winning over 60% of the electorate, nixon just months before he starts going into decline said somebody should write a book about this year, i'm one of the
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world's greats. i'm degal or churchill. i'm the great cold war president. how the mighty falls am by the next year, it was just sledding straight downhill. host: doug brenk leave, this book covers 1971 to 1973. but you start off by saying that johnson, president johnson, advised president nixon to put in a taping system, and he declined. guest: very much so. look, f.d.r. did some limited taping. john f. kennedy did taping, but selectively. kennedy looks great in the tapes t. shows him in command of the cuban missile crisis, for example. john f. kennedy did taping, and it helped -- i mean, it's helped l.b.j.'s reputation because it shows his passion for the poor. it shows the great society in action, civil rights and the rest. but with nixon, he came in and said none of that taping for me. johnson's trying to convince me it's a good idea, i'm not going
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to do it. but by 1971, february of 1971, he couldn't help himself. he felt he was ending the vietnam war. he felt that he was on the verge of making a breakthrough soon with china. neil armstrong had gone to the moon. he had created the voormental protection agency -- the environmental protection agency and was dealing with desegregation in the south and giving young people the trite vote at 18, and he thought he was going to need to document his own greatness, and it was his unundoing because it was voice-activated. it wasn't selective for the phone. he bugged the whole white house. he bugged camp david. so one of the reasons this book is just coming out now, the national archives has been processing tapes, and a big batch just came out in august of 2013, and in it, you can find so much just dynamite to destroy nixon's presidency in his own words because he's constantly using kind of abusive language towards people, and really, it's the
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bigotry and anti-semitism that's what's doing the most damage to nixon's reputation from the tapes. host: as regular viewers of c-span know, doug brinkley is a friend of the network in the sense that he participates in a lot of our programs. he has a lot of titles, and he's always willing to come over and take your calls, talking about different historical events. today we're talking about the 40th anniversary of the resignation of president nixon. doug brinkley, presidential historian, professor of history at rice, and a james baker institute for public policy fellow. you have written several books on history. you're a contributing editor all over the map. jimmy carter, you're his official biographer, is that fair? guest: well, i wouldn't say official. president carter gave me access to diaries and papers. scommoip what else are you currently working on? guest: a book on franklin
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roosevelt called "rightful heritage." it's about how f.d.r. attacked the dust bowl, the drought, how he got very concerned about forest fires. i today's "usa today" it's the 70th anniversary of smoky the bear. there was a real fear that the japanese bombs were going burn american forests during world war ii, and that's when smoky the bear was born, during the roosevelt administration. i'm looking at how he saved places, like the everglades and big ben, king's canyon, the olympics, all over america. i once wrote a book on theodore roosevelt and conservation. this is a companion volume, looking at f.d.r. and the new deal and how it put so much effort into the land, where all of our top soil had blown away. i deal with a lot of agriculture and interior department issues in the 1930's and 1940's. host: who is your co-editor, luke nichter?
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guest: he worked at span spafpblet he's from my same home toufpble he's a professor at texas a&m. i am one at rice. when i was doing a book dealing with john kerry and the vietnam war, luke helped me find some of these conversations, because he's running a nixon tapes project. he's trying to crans scribe all this. and he pointed me in the right direction, and then i was doing some work on walter cronkite, and pointed me in the right direction of a conversation between nixon and chuck colson regarding con cry. as we got to know each other, become friends, the idea was, look, this stuff is just unbelievable. luke has a better access to this material and understands it. he can actually hear the voices in the room. it's tough going for a lot of people. i talked to bob, my friend the other day, and he said, boy, i couldn't listen to the tapes long, so he just have to really strain, but luke has it down to an art form. we collaborated and tried to bring up what's the most important from the tapes, not
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watergate-related, what else can we learn, particularly u.s. foreign policy? that's what nixon cared about the most. host: and this is nearly 800 pages of two years of tapes. one thing i noticed is president nixon interrupts a lot. guest: all the time. he never lets anybody finish a sentence. nobody ever stands up to him. i mean, actually, henry kissinger is the one who comes out badly in this book, because, you know, nixon will say something half-baked or crazy and there's kissinger, yep, boss, yes, you're absolutely right. the amount of this around nixon is staggering, and nobody wants to challenge him. and this is always -- this is a lesson. presidents have to be surrounded by people that are going to challenge them. you just can't become this -- otherwise you become very isolated the way nixon was. he was really a loner, didn't have many friends. haldeman worked for him. i think if there was somebody within the white house
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structure that nixon was close to, it was haldeman. he was actually fairly close to his speech writers, bat into kanaan being one. if nixon wanted to do a red meat speech, he turned to buchanan. he also turned to william safire. on domestic policy issues, he'd turned to ray price. but, you know, there was -- he could not stand his own secretary of state, for example, william rogers. he wanted nothing really to do with the state department, nixon. he wanted to run foreign policy out of the white house with himself as the master puppeteer. host: june 13, 1971, richard nicks sandon alexander haig, nixon finds out about the pentagon papers. guest: yes, and nixon gets very worried. one thing about the pentagon papers, had nothing to do with nixon. they were all about lyndon johnson. you know, it's an odd
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relationship he has with johnson. he can't stand the kennedys. it comes bursting through the book. i would always say there's gemousy towards the kennedys. at one point, nixon said they say he had courage and he was well read, that he was a beat man, and that he had, you know, was a philosopher. this is bunk. i knew jack kennedy. he's none of these things. but then he pivots and says itself to know known for guts and courage. kissinger says, well, sir, i know you're known for competence. he said i want guts, can't we get one thing across to the american people? guts! but he liked lyndon johnson, and he very much worried that these pentagon papers were going to tell secrets of our state, they were going to tell secrets of what's going on in vietnam, and it was going to enrage the anti-war movement, which was already hot under the collar. so he tried to sequester the pentagon papers, of course, loses those battles, but nixon
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administration does very many usual things, like trying to break into a psychiatrist's office to get his files. it shows nixon anticipates outrage of leaks. i think nixon hated the leaks ore. the combo is when you get nixon at his worst. host: and in your note prior to the transcript of the tape, and you mr. nichter write, another occasion, this could have been a chance to score a political victory. however, nixon's department of justice launched a vigorous yet ultimately successful defense of government secrecy and the records documenting private war deliberations that went all the way to the supreme court. the event played a direct role in creating the white house plumbers, the group tasked with preventing leaks to the press whose existence became popularly known during the
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nvestigation into watergate. guest: nixon was vice president for eisenhower for eight years. he knew when ike ran in 1952 for president, the korean war was raging. eisenhower said, elect me and gill to korea. that meant that if -- and i will go to korea. that meant that if you left me, the commander, i'll find a way out of the war that turned unpopular, and sure enough, eisenhower is elected six months later we're out of korea. nixon had that opportunity in 1969 or 1970 or 1971 to just get out of there. he did not think the vietnam war was winnable, yet he -- so in the pentagon papers, it was showing the malfeasance of mcnamara and johnson. second said, look, these guys were a mess, this war was a mess, blame it on kennedy and johnson, blame it on the democrats, grabbed the high ground and moved policy in a different direction. instead, he got more and more mired in trying to control the
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southeast asia situation and famously expanding the war into cambodia and laos. host: doug brinkley is our guest. topic, the 40th anniversary of the resignation of president nixon. in new york, democrats line. ralph, you're on the air. caller: what an honor and pleasure to talk to douglas brink lee. i'm a proud worker from upstate new york, and i just have a question, the focus for the blue-collar, working-class worker, did doug brinkley find anything in the tapes to -- for nixon to vote for nixon, if we focus on the blue-collar, working-class worker, to get the worker to think of their cultural values over their material needs, nor to break them away from the new deal coalition, and i thank you very much, bye. guest: good question.
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yes, what you have with nixon is he's appealing directly to blue-collar workers, to the point where he embraces people like johnny cash and merle haggard, country sirnings, because he thought they represented the blue-collar worker. he wanted to help destroy unions to a degree, or at least limit their power in politics, and he made appeals to the flag, to patriotism, that we're not going to cut and run from vietnam. nixon had a pretty good read of middle class america, although he didn't hang out with them a lot. he was a loner, as i said. but remember, his idea of the silent majority, that nixon was saying that most americans want to win in vietnam. they want a peace with honor, and that they care about american values, main street values, rotary clubs, kiwanis clubs, on and on, and that this anti-war movement and media liberal elite, based out of new york and washington, were skewing what was really going
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on, meaning most college kids in america were just going to college. it took five anti-war protesters to burn a flag, there would be the camera, and t's on the nightly news. he showed a majority of americans winning the vietnam war, and so he constantly listened and looked to polls and found ways to create a new coalition. some people will say quite cynically on issues of race that he's trying to appeal to, you know, to what becomes known s george wallace voters, segregation in some ways, yet pair docks i canly, nixon is fighting for desegregation and for even affirmative action. figure, ry paradoxical but he thought, like reagan, today win over some of the blue-collar labor workers and go group by group. for example, the teamsters were more apt to vote republican than, say, the united nine
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workers were. host: robby calling in from florida, independent line. hi, robby. caller: hi there. can you hear me? host: we're listening, ma'am. caller: i just wanted to thank mr. brinkley on his hard work, and i just wanted to say one thing, that nixon was the beginning of party against party. according to george washington in his farewell address as he was leaving office, our founder said that the spirit of our nature is rooted in the strongest passions of the human mind, but the alternate domination of one faction over another sharpened by the spirit of revenge had perpetrated the and without looking forward to an extremity of his time, what should never be entirely out of sight, the spirit of party are sufficient
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to make the interest and duty f a wise people. agitate the community -- host: all right, robby, knowing we got the point. president nixon was the source of party-to-party conflict. guest: oh, we've had party-to-party conflict since 1800 when thomas jefferson and john adams ripped at each other. i think one of the important things, particularly looking at watergate, is to always remind us that modern times aren't as uniquely oppressive as we think. i mean, look at the civil war in this country, where we fought, lost over 600,000 people dead, lincoln getting stuck in washington, d.c., and the battle of bull run right outside of d.c., the confederates wifpble i mean, you look at an event like that, and then watergate starts looking quite small. and also, he didn't invent the ugliness of party fighting. it is true, in 1968, he was
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very worried about hubert humphrey becoming president, and five days before the election, johnson started doing a bombing halt in vietnam, and there's some evidence that nixon wanted to not have the south vietnamese come to make any deal, all with, you know, with lyndon johnson, because vietnam was the albatross around humphrey's neck. he was vice president. and in 1972, you know, it's definitely, you see nixon hammering george mcgovern, and, you know, being for amnesty and abortion and that's what he represented and ran a touch-end derby campaign in 1972. but i will tell you, there have been tough and drty campaigns throughout american history. nixon maybe did take things to a paranoid level unseen before, where he wanted to break in, or his henchmen broke into the watergate and the whole dirty trick squad. and it is true that after
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nixon, people started feeling a cynicism about politics more than ever before, and nixon contributed to that, largely. host: it was june 17, 1972, five burglars arrested at the democratic national headquarters in the watergate complex near washington, and nixon tapes, june 20, 1972, 11:26 a.m., richard nixon and haldeman discuss watergate on the taping system for the first time. it goes on to say that an earlier portion of this conversation includes the 18 1/2-minute gap, anee ray sure that his personal secretary contributed to, but is still not fully explained. the way that nixon starts the conversation, you and nicth write, suggests that perhaps the erased portion included a discussion of wire tap.
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guest: yes, and that is the beginning of watergate, and we include it in this book. now, watergate, a scholar named stanley cutler did a book called "abuse of power." he's from the university of wisconsin. he's the one who really got the tapes going. if you want to read about watergate, read cutler, but also john dean has recently brought out a book. luke and i put in some in 1972. there wasn't a lot of watergate in 1972 on the tapes. it explodes in 1973. our book really is about 1971 and 1972. so you're getting the early conversations, by 1973 it's dominating the white house. we're hoping to do a second volume dealing with foreign policy in 1973, but also with the watergate as a primary focus. there's still new material to come out on watergate that aren't in cutler and dean's book. that 18 missing minutes, we just don't have it. nobody has it. we don't know where it is. if anybody has it, please call
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me. because that would be a big breaking news story. host: a little bit. guest: yeah, some people think rosemary woods could not have been the one to erase it, that nixon did it himself. it's a mystery, but nevertheless, it doesn't matter a whole lot, because nixon did enough things on the record that we have a lot of people are making noise out of the book, a university of virginia professor, spent a lot of time with the tapes, and he's talking about nixon saying get into the brookings institute, and i don't care what you blow up, get documents out of there, you know, using words like they'very and things. there's enough on the tapes without the 18 1/2 minutes to indict nixon on certainly the coverup of watergate, not ordering the break-in itself. host: you write that various attempts to recover the erased portion have been unsuccessful. doug brenk leave mentioned john
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dean and his new book, "the nixon defense." john dean this weekend on book tv sits down with "the washington post's" bob would say ward. they spent an hour discussing the nixon defense, an hour discussing watergate. you can see that on book tv on c-span2 this weekend. dan, bridgewater, new jersey, republican line. you're on with doug brinkley. caller: hi, i definitely would l buy this book, and i will read it carefully, as i did all of mr. brinkley's books. i'm really afraid of the phenomenon where, if if you have a hope, your brain fills it in with what it thinks should be there, and i'm afraid that the tapes, after such superficial readings, that history is now painting a picture of nixon that's dwoud of this. having dealt with him, having known him, i think it's a big mistake to say that haldeman
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was his friend. the fact is he had ideas in policies, and he trusted no one within or outside of his camp. there may have been a lot of things wrong with him, but he did have a multitude of policies and ideas that i would say really looked to the betterment of this country. unfortunately, as you pointed so long as they have the dynamite quotes and the connections, so that in the end, the depth of nixon and part of it may have been his madness, so it would have to be very deep, unless that's there, and these tapes do not represent that. they represent the sliding over the ice on to which a very deep pool. host: dan, thank you. guest: you make a number of very important points.
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henry kissinger has famously said don't trust the tapes, it's a sideshow. because what you get in the tapes is often just nixon. nixon is the only one in the room ultimately for most of these conversations and knows what's going on. ehrlichman didn't know he was being taped. kissinger didn't know he was being taped. it's one-side baseball. you know you're being taped and others don't. kissinger also said, use the tapes assist a source, compare it to memorandum and notes and things, and you'll get a bit of a fuller reading. i agree with all of that. i also think that when somebody does a crime, you focus on the crime f. somebody goes to jail for a crime, it doesn't mean their whole life they didn't do a lot of good things. they may have raised a family well, been a good samaritan. they get busted for something they did wrong. there's much about nixon that people can like and admire. i mentioned earlier in the
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program about conservation, and nixon was a reluctant environmentalist, but he create the environmental protection agency, clean air and water, and working on oceans. it has to rank as one of the top five voormental precedents. it shocks people that that's nixon, but there it is. with all that said, look, if we can't as scholars care about a fly on the wall in history of everything that's taking place in the oval office being able to listen to the transcripts, being inside the sausage factory, what can we trust? a lot of memos are about covering ones self. the tapes are, i think, more raw and more real and more valuable, and yet, you're right. they are what's going to destroy nicks sandon history, because people will find quotes that are very damaging, and they live on. it is an i gotch aculture, and nixon provided the source for everybody. it's almost suicidal that he
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did not burn these tapes. in a points out to a kind of madness in the man. at one point he tells henry kissinger, let the chinese think i'm a crazy man, i want them to think that, why not? because he wanted them to know who knows what nixon is going to do. he's capable of doing anything. it's a lot of grand strategy in this book ark lot dealing with china and how he orchestrated , so famous 1972 trip there's a lot of high policy in this book. it's not just the i gotch a, so i hope you get a chance to read it, and you might be impressed with the way nixon dealt with diplomacy at various times. host: any proof that presidents post-richard nixon have used taping systems in the white house? guest: no, you'd be a fool to use them, even the limited ones. i don't think they help. i'm sure when you're dealing
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with a duel putin it might be taped because they might want to dissect every word, so i'm sure there's that kind of taping, but the idea of casually capturing every kind of word, it's gone the way of the dodo bird, you know? it's a form of extinction now. i did ronald reagan's diaries, and he did the right way. he would write every day what he wanted to write, had the discipline to never miss a day, keep the diaries going, and you have a sane document. bill clinton made tapes with historian taylor branch, where it was sort of an historian coming in and talking to him. that's all very different than doing this sort of voice-activated, pick up everything in the room. why did nixon do this? he did not think he was a petty politician. he didn't think he was a mcgovern or a humphrey or mccarthy. he thought he was a world-class leader, and he read greatly in world history, and he thought he could truly be seen as one of the giants of foreign
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affairs of the 20th century. and that when he left office, he would go back to san clemente and maybe do a five or six-volume memoir. en had are you kissinger certainly has made a career out of writing books like that, and nixon would have used the tapes ads the grist, given memory, he could actually quote what somebody said to him and it would have been accurate. his downfall is he never thought anybody could take these tape as way from him. they belonged to him. so imagine his surprise when the supreme court votes unanimously that you don't own those take place, that's the moment nixon realized that his presidency is sunk. host: when did he stop taping? guest: he stopped taping in july of 1973, when alexander haig said it's over, stop the insanity. from became a brief moment, people use the tapes burnt tapes, but dewey race them? what do we do that? just like that, 18 1/2 missing moments, people, even liberal
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iconnell son rockefeller, a man of great integrity by all accounts, he was telling nixon get rid of the take place, and nixon just wouldn't do it. it was his golden egg. he was not a rich man. he thought that this was going to be what he had with his wife pat, what he would have as a record for his time in government. his ego was very large. the narcissism of nixon, all president realize narcissistic. you don't want to climb to the top of the mountain, say i'm the best person to be president without a healthy he'll owe. but nixon's goes in odd directions. there's something not psychologically right about him. host: one tweet says, you going to ask him about china or just spend the morning trashing nixon? guest: well, i just mentioned china a minute ago. maybe the caller wasn't listening. i just said much of the book is dealing with china and the china opening. the big deal about that was, it
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was a three-way deal, soviet union, chain ark and the united states. what he was trying to do is wedge china away from the soviets. so much so that he thought that if you bomb a lot in vietnam and north vietnam it would impress the chinese about your toughness, and so it had a deer it incident quality to it, that it would deter the adventurism by beijing into, let's say, hong kong, taiwan, or japan. and then yet, at the same time, he would back pakistan. nixon was a huge admirer of the country of pakistan, and that was a proxy state of china, and they were fighting india, and nixon could not stand the country of india, because they were close to the soviets. nixon hates russia, not china, and he wants to outfox the soviets every step of the way. he says very many ugly things
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about the russians in the book, you know, that unlike the chinese, they slobber over celebrities and that they're basically a mob and you can't do business with them. the chinese, he felt, were honorable people that he could do business with. he was surprised he never felt the chinese broke a promise hat they were making with him. today he's very loved in china f. you're a businessperson doing business in china, they'll give you a nixon walking tour and show you the sights he saw in 1972. here in the united states, nixon ranked, because of watergate, at the very bottom rung of american presidents. host: jack in north providence, rhode island, thanks for holding on. you're on with doug brinkley. caller: i'm a conservative democrats, and where nixon should get credit, it was a brilliant strategic move, because that was one of the
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beginnings of defeating the soviet union because he did, in fact, create that wedge. secondly, one other point that the media is liberal, nixon had more intellectual firepower than all these other presidents put together. the man was absolutely brilliant to the point where he did have some madness to him. he believed he was invincible. but you look at him, and you see the way he speaks and his mind is so calculating, so bright, brilliant lawyer, corporate lawyer in new york, and he wasn't for money a self-made man, jack kennedy was a joke and a fraud, ok? he did serve in world war ii, but the greatest president was reagan, because reagan had strategic vision, ok? but the media hated reagan, too. when he we want out to the soviet union in the early
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1980's, they all thought he was going to start world war ii. the soviet union even believed he was going to launch a bomb at them, ok? host: jack, bring this to a conclusion. caller: the conclusion this sth -- the media is super biased, and they just love -- they love obama, who's incompetent incident, ok? the man is competent. host: i think we got your point, jack, thank you very much. guest: you point out the intelligent of richard nixon, and one of the things that comes through in the tapes is that. he's an exceedingly well read person in history. it will surprise people just how -- and refers to history in his thinking all the time. during the vietnam war, he's always getting angry at the air force. he thinks they should be taking it harder to the north vietnamese, and he'll say things like, look, i know what happened in the battle of the bulge. hear what the weather conditions were, and we went on bombing raids, and now you're telling me because of fog we can't bomb? he was always bringing
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historical references into things. you know, character matters in a president, and you've got to, and also, it's not smart to war with the press. all presidents get frustrated, but the great ones, the ones people really respect, are ones that learn thousand manipulate the press without them realizing it. peter roosevelt could do that. john kennedy knew how to do that, sandronled reagan knew how to do that. those are the four presidents that the public gets very captivated by and interested in. by having spiro ago new as vice president go after -- spiro agnew as vice president go after the big three, cbs, abc, and nbc, for their liberal bias, it was very badly done. it wasn't that the news is done, that the news is too liberal. fair enough. but trying to go out and destroy the "new york times" or e pentagon papers, cbs, it backfired. anything that backfires on you
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means you're not so smart, there's subtleties. you don't always win by going right at people's throat and trying to rip them out. you have to have a velvet fist. nixon would just want to rip people's hinges out, and he created a lot of enemies that way. he made his own enemies list on reporters, and he had the i.r.s. look into people's lives that were his enemies, and they didn't forget. the media went at nixon, and they got him. host: jake in tampa, florida. before we take your call, i'm sure, if you're watching us right now, you probably saw the alert that the u.s. has dropped a couple of bombs on some isis positions in iraq. just want to make sure that everybody's aware of that. doug brinkley, from a historian's point of view, do you have any comment on the fact that targeted air strikes
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in iraq were authorized last night and a couple of bombs were dropped today? guest: president obama, because he won the nobel peace prize and came in like eisenhower, he's been saying big policy has been getting out of iraq and get being out of afghanistan. proving to be quite hard. but yet, no troops, we're not putting u.s. troops in, so we're doing limited bombing. i think the president will find most of the public backing this action. lindsey graham has been calling for this. i think it's the right thing obama is doing, and i think he'll find largely bipartisan support. they may say we told you you should have done this eastern, your iraq policy is a mess, but yes, at this moment in time, you've got to go forward, and we've got to do humanitarian d to help the iraqis in need right now. join jake, tampa, please go ahead. caller: yeah, i'd like to talk
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vietnam war. my question is, why do all the democratic presidents have no vision of foreign policy? what's going on today with what's going on in ukraine and iraq and all over e world, and it seems like they seem to have the policy. world war i was wilson. orld war ii was f.d.r. he was the only man to use a mass indiscretion, two of them. host: all right, jake, i think we understand where you're eaded with this. guest: look, the cold war, if was won, was won by
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republicans. even presidents like gerald ford and jimmy carter contributed to it. carter by demanding that soviets being release and had pushing for human rights and freedom of religion in the soviet union. gerald ford, the helsinki accords, but reagan gets across of credit because of the tough policy and the way he very astutely handled foreign policy . but to make a broad-brush statement that democrats aren't very good at it, harry truman was the father of nato. he felt with the berlin lockade of 1948. he created the joint chiefs of staff, the c.i.a., the department air force, the whole pentagon apparatus, on and on, and jack kennedy guiding us through the cuban missile crisis. most scholars feel did he an excellent job with that, creating the peace corps, which
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has been a huge success, out foxing the soviets over berlin. , so you know, jimmy carter, who's considered by many a failure during the camp david peace accord, which still is on the books as the great event in middle east history in the last, really, 100 years probably, or at least since the creation of israel. meaning it's not a right-left issue. if you're frustrated with obama's foreign policy, you may have been frustrated with bill clinton's, i do think that people think that republicans are more hawkish, which isn't always true. john f. kennedy was much more of a cold war hawk than say richard nixon was in some ways. that cold war presidency, it was both bipartisan, this anti-soviet deal, and let's win the cold war, it's just that the wall came down when 41 bush was president, and it was the
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result of reagan's ratcheted up rhetoric and policies. host: may 19, 12:55 p.m., henry kissinger and richard nixon talking about vietnam in the person service and the defense department. nixon, it is not just the foreign policy, the pentagon is as bad. a bunch of spineless bastards. kissinger, well, i just gave hell to john mccain, admirable john mccain. he goes on -- nixon goes on to say, i twoish god, what did mccain say? well, he said he'd have to check into it, i said i'd never seen the president so angry. he is, and he wants to stay on the job, nixon said i want him to stay on, but damn, not this way. he's going to start taking his orders from here or else. now i'm not going to have this crap anymore. guest: it's a little bit what i
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was mentioning earlier, nixon war ago lot with the military. you should hear the conversations with the air force. it's just brutal. he thinks the military is not wanting to win vietnam, that a malaise or fatigue has set in. that's a presidential order, and starts, well, fire them at the pentagon, get rid of them. they're not hearing me, and he's constantly telling kissinger, get the message across. now, once those military guys get on the phone with him or show up. he's much more -- much kinder in front of them. he doesn't talk like that. but behind their backs, he's feeling that the pentagon is spineless. host: tony, louisiana, you're on with doug brinkley. caller: i have a nixon what if question. would he have been as paranoid, and would he have been a much
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better president had he been victorious in 1960, and would he have taken us into vietnam? guest: well, what an interesting question. the problem with what if's is it's just speculation, but i think he would have been a better president if elected in 1960 than 1968 because he would have had less of a chip on his shoulder. the chip very very big in the 1960 because he really felt he won, that j.f.k., due to mayor daly's grey yard vote, turned the votes to to kennedy and thatter have been president and a bitterness ensued when he said he won't have nixon to kick around anymore, and then he got bad press when he ran for governor of california. he sees, he gets angryier and angryier, particularly towards the media by 1968. he may not have been quite as bitter if he was elected in 1960.
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however, with vietnam, i don't know. i mean, we don't even know now whether kennedy would have put the troops in, and i always call vietnam lyndon johnson's war. it's johnson who commits the massive amount of troops. now, it's true it's nixon's war too because he increases it. you could call it johnson and nixon's war, but the original crime, in my vureks wasn't kennedy sending advisors to vietnam or nixon continuing it, it was johnson getting us mired over there in the first place. host: doug brinkley, what what are you doing in town? why are you in washington? guest: i came here with my wife and three kids, and we're still on washington. we're going to see the sights of washington. yesterday we were in old alexandria. we went out to mount vernon. that was the first time i took my kids there and spent time there. we've been doing the monuments and memorials, the national portrait gallery. we're excited to go to the zoo
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and dealing with the pandas and nixon, one tape to try to deal with mating habits of pandas, which is a tim cal moment in the tapes, but then we went about to the zoo, see the pandas, and just trying to en jew our summer for a while or so. host: gary from florida. guest: pleasure to talk to you, mr. brinkley. i admire your work, been a great admirer for many years. i wanted to reflect on the fact that the rape congress has now sued president obama. it's come up on the anniversary of the time when the united states congress has sued richard nixon. would you do a comparison, and what's the net involved with this? i'll take my comments off the air, thanks. >> i find the lawsuit against obama frive russ, it's just a
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politically show to show that this is a one that is doing wrong. continuing of the disdain of obamacare, major legislation, the great legacy piece for obama's presidency, that no republican voted for it. so there's just frustration at obama, and it's coming out with this lawsuit to the point that it gets people talking about it. the same thing with impeachment . there were threats to impeach bill clinton and threats to impeach george w. bush. i think particularly in second term, fatigue comes in, and it just takes a couple of people to start using the i word, the impeachment word. none of this is compared to what was going with with nixon. with nixon, you're dealing with real true criminal abuse of power, and you're dealing with a president that was just drven out of the whourt. congress beached net, and there
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are only about 16 republican senators that would have backed nixon. nixon knew he was doomed. he left 40 years ago because there's no party turned on him. barry goldwater turned on nixon and said get out of here. that's not what conservatism is about. we're not about break the laws. so the conservative movement isn't shed. there's a new book out where he's talking about the fall of nixon and the rise of reagan, when nixon -- nixon used to say, at least in the tapes, people, the liberals hate me, don't understand. they lose me, it's all right-wing conservatism on the other side, that i'm the liberal moderate of the republican party. and instead of wanting to do business with me and liking me, they're trashing me, and they lose me, they're going to get to the far right. that's where the politics is at today.
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reagan is the anything beneficial. that's the thing, they're the two biggest political figures. there's really no such thing as a nixon republican or democratic democrat or jan son democrat but there are such things as reagan republicans, even reagan democrats. are the and reagan big figures. host: doug brinkley is a native of northeast ohio, a graduate, and he's dr. brinkley because of georgetown university. currently he teaches at rice. brian in east massachusetts, republican. hi, brian. caller: hi. thank you for taking my call. i had two questions for you. i understand that nixon's mother was a father and that his father was failed in a lemon rafrpbl. i wonder how that afect the nation. also, what about nixon's
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participation with whitaker chambers and the pumpkin paper? do you think that had any effect on when nixon resigned? thank you very much for my que. caller: you're pointing out, who is this boy, richard nixon? you talk about his parents. it's going to a whole linebacker. now it's all sprawled for nixon. when it was learn, he was a where i grew up. but it was a lot of talking cowboys and there was something defeat about nixon. he became the nerd out of high school, and then he became the wing tip businessman lawyer, and so he compensated for growing up in such a tough, hard-scrabble, macho environment by talking rough language. every moment in the take place, get him, the s.o.b., the bastards, and that was the way
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for him to dominate a room. it was a way to show that he was tough, and that matters to him a lot, because i believe he was not seen as being tough when he was young and grew up. there is -- there's a good book hat recently came out, a historian named swift, pat nixon and richard nixon, and really, their love story. i recommend you read that it's a father and a husband, and see, yes, but the one good thing, if you're feeling seniority for nixon, he knew politics was a blood sport. i mean, his goodbye 40 years ago was from theodore roosevelt speech, it's better to be in the arena than being marred by the dust and the blood and the sweat, to be one of those timid creatures that don't engage that sit on the sidelines.
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nixon took his resignation to be a hardball politician like himself. and he came back and tried to rehabilitate himself and did partially by writing books on foreign affairs, doing things like the froth nixon interviews, and to the point where when bill clinton is president, he's consulting nixon on the soviet union, or then russia what to do with some of the satellite countries, places like the ukraine and a lot. so nixon was seen as a foreign policy sage in his later years. when he died, all the former presidents came out to california to be at his time, or his burial. host: september 7, 1972, 10:32 a.m., following the shooting of controversial presidential candidate george wallace, prominent politicians, whether they were candidates for the presidency or not, were offered temporary secret service
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protection. this is bob haldeman, jon erlichman, and richard nixon. you've got one u.s. senator, kennedy, a secondary factor in the campaign. you give him secret service coverage throughout the ampaign, at the same time, haldeman, if he gets shot, it's our fault. nixon, you understand what the problem is? if he gets shot, they'll say we didn't fun initial it, so you just buy his insurance. then after the election, he doesn't get a g.d. thing. if he gets shot, too damn bad. guest: there's the tough language of nixon. it's eye-opening, right? he can't stand ted kennedy, and he trails ted kennedy around, but in this case, with the secret service, he says it goes on, and he'll say, i won't get a secret service, but i want him to be a spy for me, he even named secret service guys not to use. well, we'll put somebody so
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we'll get dirt on what kennedy is doing around the country. and then that whole line, once the election is over, let's pull the secret service in, who cares if he gets killed. that's the kind of quote, parts of the tape that just -- it just damages nixon's reputation terribly, because, you know, a ken dead kennedy is not talking about in that kind of fashion after we experienced j.f.k. and bobby's death, for him to be that crude, it doesn't look well. no mom and saying want you to have that attitude when you grow up. that's the kind of taul that ronald reagan would never, for example, have taken part in, or franklin roosevelt. host: last call for doug brinkley comes from cheryl in virginia. hi, cheryl. caller: yes, hi. thanks a lot. thank you, dr. brinkley. i was really glad to see you on today, because i have been
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tching on c-span the old hearings, you know, in congress about the impeachment and the attempt to impeach the president. how, theent nixon.i was strucky demeanor during the hearings. moreally there was so much o treat eachm t other with a manner of more respect than they do now. the snideness that i see now and the comments and the behavior toward each other in congress seems to be such a change in demeanor, or perhaps it was just the times. certain. considering how contentious this was


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